The Art of Photoshop by Daniel Giordan, ISBN 0-672-32270-6

Reviewed by: Mario Georgiou, send e-mail
Published by: Sams Publishing, go to the web site
Requires: N/A
MSRP: $44.95

(Ed. Note: A lot of publishers and vendors send us products for review, but we do from time to time review items which we've already purchased for our own use).

The first thing about this book to catch my eye was the cool art used on the cover. Straight away I was grabbed by the fact that this book stood out in the computer section of the book superstore I was in. I am a designer and also consider myself a bit of an artist and this book spoke to me. I picked it up therefor and browsed through it. A few minutes later the book was mine. Happy birthday to me!

The book itself is a visually effective and functional exploration of some of the wonderful and richly textural images that Daniel Giordan and his team created specifically for this publication. The images themselves range from the simple to the ethereal. The book is clearly aimed at the creative digital artist and professional as some of the examples are obviously beyond what the average user will ever endeavor to create using Adobe Photoshop. The book itself is nicely designed, easy to read and is a manageable size too, making it easy to handle. It also addresses a multi-platform audience by incorporating the use of both Mac and Windows based shortcuts. The author has obviously realized that creating art and design is no longer limited to operators and artists working in the Mac domain. The use of language found in the book also embraces the creative in its use of metaphor and description with phrases such as "aesthetic correlation" and "...they seek to imbue the ordinary and commonplace with personal significance and meaning."

The publication's examples are comprehensively detailed in a clear, step-by-step fashion. The screenshots and side notes are very useful and provide good support for what each tutorial is trying to achieve. Each chapter explores and builds on a single Photoshop feature to educate the reader on what is possible when casting a critical eye toward creating an artistic expression using that feature. The book quite thoroughly explores layer masks and transformations, curves, color correction, the cloning stamp tool, blending modes, distortion filters, lighting effects and many other features to good effect. Successive readings of this book continue to yield new and varied creative applications using Photoshop.

The only problem with the book is that the tutorials are somewhat hampered by the authors omission of a tutorial CD. This oversight is clearly an attempt by the author to create an additional income stream from the sale of the images created for the book. While I applaud his presentation of the material in this book, I believe that he forgot why people buy tutorial books in this genre: education. Nice try Daniel. Having said that, you can at least find low resolution files on the book's web site by clicking on the "Sample Images" caption.

Still I can't really complain. This book is one of the best Photoshop resources I own, and it's pretty to look at. My favorite images are Trilogy, Dark with Excessive Bright, and several of the images found in the preface. To see additional images, visit the web site. Very nice work Mr Giordan.

If you want to see more examples of this kind of work you might also want to look into the work of the following artists, who produce artwork in a similar style: Dave McKean, Carolyn Valentine, Chad Michael Ward, Cliff Nielsen, Jason Felix and Sarah Ruble. Be creative. Enjoy the book.

Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to:




© Copyright 2000-2006 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | forums | about us | search | store | subscribe


Forums Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe